In addition, the teams of Inspectors on site at the feedlot report compromised animals including lame sheep, sheep with foot rot, pink eye throughout the pens as well as emaciated and moribund sheep.
The Government, State Veterinary Department failed to uphold their ‘Guidelines’, and the Exporter failed to adhere to the ‘Guidelines’ and yet, despite significant animal welfare concerns, we were advised by the exporter, that regardless, loading would commence on Thursday 20 July 2023 onto the Al Messilah vessel.
The situation was so dire that in order to halt the loading until the ‘Guidelines’ were adhered to, the NSPCA applied for an Urgent High Court Interdict in the Grahamstown High Court on Wednesday 19 July 2023. An interim order was granted which stopped the loading of the animals at 6am the following morning. Unfortunately, the Acting Judge presiding over the matter then set aside the interim order on 20 July 2023, finding that the matter was somehow not urgent. Despite these appalling conditions of the animals at the feedlot and a well set out case, the Acting Judge did not hear the merits of the matter and only heard argument on urgency. The loading was then permitted to commence.
Undeterred, and despite enormous challenges, the NSPCA Inspectors continue to monitor the loading at the feedlot and the harbour, doing their utmost to prevent suffering to these animals, withdrawing those who are unfit and compromised. It has taken enormous physical and mental toll on the team of 16 inspectors who have been working 12 hours a day, since the 20 July 2023. Had it not been for the NSPCA Inspectors, compromised animals would have been loaded onto the vessel.
As the loading continues, we still have no confirmation when the ship will depart. “The accommodation, fuel and welfare costs of keeping the Inspectorate team on site are escalating daily. But while these animals are on South African soil, we will not leave them” Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director, NSPCA.
The NSPCA has pending cases against Al Mawashi, however the judicial system is overwhelmed and while waiting for the cases to be heard in the court the suffering of these animals is ongoing. “Enough is enough, this barbarity cannot be allowed to continue.” Marcelle Meredith, Executive Director, NSPCA.
We appeal to the public to support our Campaign to End this Suffering once and for all.
Account Name: SPCA National Council of SA
Bank: Standard Bank
Account No: 220639744
Branch Code: 051001
Swift code for international EFTs: SBZAZAJJ
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